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Sam Tanenhaus; Sarah Weinman Education. (2012) 2012 Year in Books

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Sarah Weinman 11, Bob Minzesheimer 8, New York 5, Simon 4, Glen Beck 4, U.s. 3, America 3, London 3, Iraq 3, Robert Caro 3, John Kennedy 3, Arnold Schwarzenegger 3, Riley 3, Michele Obama 3, David Maraniss 3, Google 2, Washington 2, Kennedys 2, Penguin 2, Un 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Sam Tanenhaus; Sarah Weinman   
   Education.  (2012) 2012 Year in Books  

    December 29, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am EST  

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what we have seen over the years is not just economics, but the discomfort that investigative reporting causes in a news room. ..
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>> you are watching booktv on c-span2, as 2012 draws to a close one of the things we like to do is look back at the year in nonfiction books and look ahead to 2013. joining us to help us are two guests in the new york studio, sarah weinman is news director for publishers marketplace, bob minzesheimer is the book reviewer and reporter for "usa today". sarah weinman, let's start with you. give us your general assessment of 2012 for the book industry especially when a comes to nonfiction books and what are one or two nonfiction books you want to talk about? >> let me start by saying 2012 was a very eventful year in the book publishing world between publishers consolidating the department of justice, doing five publishers and apple on e-book pricing and later into
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the program, amazon expanding its publishing operations, the google settlement moving forward in different directions. those alone account for a substantial portion of publishing news. on the non-fiction side it was a very strong year. in particular we are seeing a lot of best of 2012 lists dominated by behind the beautiful forevers which was winner of the national book awards. we had robert caro's latest volume in his ongoing biography of lyndon johnson and andrew sullivan's are from the free which was recently published. >> host: hundred page compendium looking at different child-rearing examples of special needs children. those three books alone are substantial but are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is on for a nonfiction. >> bob minzesheimer, same question.
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>> it was a big year for dead presidents. you mentioned robert caro's fourth of probably a five volumes on lyndon johnson, just an incredible lack of reporting and writing, 20th-century american history. also the team of rivals published in 2005 is back on the best-seller list thanks to steven spielberg's movie lincoln. on our list was up to 20 or so which is remarkable for a series that is out so long. a new biography of thomas jefferson, just when you think there's not much more to be said about thomas jefferson's someone writes a popular, beautiful, controversial book. presidents have been in the news as well. >> hard to mention dead presidents and not talk about
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bill o'reilly and his two books, killington, killing kennedy, best sellers. >> bill reilly and his writing partner, i actually interviewed 0 riley about his process, does the research, the writing, the idea to write history like a thriller, not in an academic sense, very few footnotes there, where he got his information from, kind of like history is a page turner, he is promising to announce his next book which he says is going to load the world down, we will see about that. dry -- being a word. it would not be. there's a lot of personality as
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well. a lot of policies in his books. >> a lot of books come out on current presidents and this was no exception for president obama. american tapestry, jody kantor wrote the obamas and david maraniss's first volume of his biography, "barack obama: the story" came out as well. >> whenever there's a sitting president is a boon for publishers who can jump on a bandwagon and publish as many books as possible. it was interesting to me because it fell into the early life of barack obama from his childhood when he was a student in new york, his early organizing days and data thorough job talking with a plethora of different people who knew the president in
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his early life. there was quite a bit of reporting and investigation about the marriage between barack and michele obama. from what i and stand rachel took a larger view looking at the first lady and her larger ancestry and putting together a larger story as a result. >> go ahead. >> if i can jump in, my favorite was david maraniss. it was exhaustive and exhausting. he goes into every detail and it ends as obama is going to harvard. so it is very much a coming of age biography, early parts of the president's life, very well researched.
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a book about political marriage, always feel unless you are part of a marriage, there's a lot to understand, tried to make the case that michele obama was more political than she was going to let on and political tension. in fighting in the obama white house which reports widely in the early days, the history was valuable because of the attention is on president obama being the last president because his black ancestors came from elsewhere there were no slaves in his family. michele obama had slaves and white ancestors, great american complexity in how we induce race to black-and-white but it really isn't. >> just to quickly mentioned david maraniss's "barack obama: the story," booktv travel to kenya with him, we did a lot of
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taking over there so you can see all of that and the special we did, booktv.org, use the search function on the upper left-hand corner, type in his name and you can watch that footage, it was quite a trip to kenya to see some of that background. >> one of the great parts of his reporting was the constructed obama's early memoir face of our fathers -- "dreams of my father". john mccain -- [talking over each other] >> i had a fathers part right which he loaded in 95 or so. he reported some of the events and we learned what was accurate in the book, what was not so accurate. it is a great companion to read
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if you have red obama's memoirs. >> those publishers, wm ds, put out a lot of anti president obama books including edward klein's "the amateur," david limbaugh's "the great destroyer," charles kessler's i am the change, obama's america, quite critical of president obama. do these books sell well? >> they do largely because they serve rightly or wrongly as a counterpoint. many readers wish to buy into at and as a result of these books have a very active audience and president obama has been reelected, i am sure these publishers with conservative inference or conservatively inclined will predict to sell well and they will continue to appeal to an audience that
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demand these books. >> have you interviewed these critical of others? >> no. let's see. glen beck, but he is not recently taken on exactly president obama. sort of interesting. this is generally true, whoever's in power in the white house, the opposite political slant does better. liberal democrat in the white house, when there's a conservative in the white house, president bush, critical of the president and do better. it was being questioned about jobs or something and he said look what i'm doing for the book industry because there were so many books out, critical of him, the middle of his second term. >> the irony with former president bush, when decision points came several years ago,
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if it wasn't the best-selling nonfiction book it was awfully close. >> that theory that people vote at the bookstore in smaller numbers, you show your alliance by going out and buying the book that agrees with your political position. these -- agree with the others. >> another book came out in 2012, james man's "the obamaias," the struggle in the white house to redefine american power, the obama white house, and "the new new deal," the hidden story of change in the obama era with bob woodward's the price of politics. i want to ask both of you, did bob woodward's most recent book get the attention most of his books get? >> my feeling is it has got
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initial attention, it was crowded out by the nature of the news cycle, at least to my mind, and there wasn't that many other ones that emerged after those initial one or two, the book lost some of its momentum but i'm sure bob will have an equally substantive answer on this front too. >> a standard what you are comparing it to, it was not his most commercially successful book. sera touchdown two things, the news cycle has heated up, the other factor was the topic was about the negotiations over the budget, the debt is not exactly an exciting topic for a lot of people. as opposed to his books on maneuvering in the bush white house which would have more
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interest. >> one thing i want to bring up tangential to these particular books but an emerging trend we saw in 2012, a lot of current events, topics are not just the domain of a larger nonfiction titles that would take a long time to produce by larger publisher but the advent of shorter forms, digital books through companies like byline or activists or newspapers and magazine that entered the e-book market, launched its own u.s. aid tomorrow, the idea being with an e-book, publisher that any strike can cut the market early and timely topics of a political nature as the election season shows they could get the news out in a wider way with an e-book and if they had to wait several months or a year for
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e-book. >> michael grunwald's book "the new new deal" which is about the economic stimulus, i found it very interesting and not the kind of stuff we were reading, seeing people discuss on tv, he writes for time magazine and is sort of a non-partisan and an appreciation of what the stimulus not only did for the economy but what it means for the environment, sort of a story that got lost in all the politics in washington. >> we have to have you comment as an employee of usa today on u.s. aid tomorrow. >> and the day after. the newspaper in september was 30 years old so a bunch of reporters were sent out to talk to people who could predict what the world would be like 30 years from now which would be what are we talking about?
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20, 40, 2042. >> we talked about what it means for their industry and we put out a little tab and now that tab, broadsheet is now an e-book which i think you can buy for the grand total of $1.99. it hasn't really taken off yet. the short form somewhere in between a book and magazine, there are a lot of good ones, amazon has been doing them, they posted almost immediately and they sell for $2 or $3. a few of them have made the best-seller list, some have been fiction. amy tan wrote the story she called too long to be a short story and too short to be a novel and focused on that.
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>> the wars continue to produce books including "little america: the war within the war for afghanistan," tom ricks, "the generals," the killing of osama bin laden and another book on the killing of osama bin laden is mark cohen's no easy day:the press can't account of the mission that osama bin laden and then there was a myth list book that got a second wind and this was in the education of general david petraeus by paula broadwell. any comments on those books? >> it is funny refer to that book as a poorly amid this title about a second wind because after general david petraeus administration, that is exactly why her book got the second wind and why the paperback publication was pushed up. what it has done a little bit though is take away from the
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larger aspect of these books. when scandal rears its head, one focus is too much on that instead of the substance of the book. one thing worth pointing out especially in relation to the mark cohen and mark cohen was a pseudonym for one of the navy seals who was involved in the mission to kill osama bin laden, the book's publisher which is penguin press, they announced with only weeks to spare, i felt they did a very brilliant job of marketing that book. it didn't help or perhaps didn't hurt depending on who you ask that mark owens's real name was dutifully revealed by the media which than cost its own fire storm and the like but the upshot is many of these books with commensurate mia attention
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translated to sales. the other thing that i think is worth pointing out is anything to do with the killing of osama bin laden he is back in the news again with the upcoming movie zero dark 30 directed by kathryn bigelow and written by mark bowl, the people responsible for the oscar-winning movie the heard walker. is interesting to see that the cia has been cooperating and also whether the accounts of the movie conflict with the accounting mark owens's book which conflicts with the account of mark bonetin's book, trying to piece together a comprehensive attack by a flattened is like redoing raja lawn. >> according to our list, it did not do well in the commercial sense. it did not crack the top 400 in one week despite all the publicity although there was
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another title which did make a list which was some sort of romance somewhere in between. i have not read either of the two, the nonfiction or the fiction. interesting book coming dow we will talk about, a book coming out in january called the insurgents about what he considers a new breed of soldiers, scholar, tried to redefine the role of the military and general david petraeus is one of his major subjects. interesting to see whether the personal scandal will have died down enough to report to the policy issue of the role of the military and the role of generals. >> one side benefit that simon and schuster put up -- push the publication of the book in large part is a reaction to the ongoing scandal.
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is going to be late january and now is the beginning of january. >> we will look at the award winners of 2012, national book award we just mentioned, behind a beautiful forevers won the national book award but the other nominee including iron curtain, robert caro's the passage of power, the boy king of texas and anthony shadid 's house of stone. any comment on those? >> i admire the anthony shgadid book, i read it after he died, he was a longtime reporter for the washington post and the new york times and died of apparently related to an asthma attack while covering the war in syria. his book is a memoir, he grew up in oklahoma of all places, an
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american lebanese family, ended up fascinated by the middle east, became a reporter, his life mission was to try to explain this region to america which is no easy thing to do. he covered more than his share of wars and in the course of that, his first marriage fell apart because he was always overseas covering the war. the ends up buying his family's old ramshackle house somewhere in lebanon and takes a year off to restore the house. sounds like a movie almost which he does with great difficulty. his memoir blends in both lebanese history and its glorious past which was sadly destroyed through civil war as well as starting. shortly before the book came out he died. she must have been 40 or so, 45.
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>> sarah weinman. >> i feel like in looking at this list i feel unmitigated surge to talk about how i enjoy it the capt. book, if catherine booth's book made every best of 2012 list that would be fine by me. it is a phenomenal piece not only of reporting but literature. she writes beautifully. she writes with a tremendous sense of empathy. she is the new yorker staff writer and previous recipient of the macarthur genius grant. her husband is indian and she spent three years right outside mumbai chronicling these people's lives and seeing how they coped on being on the
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periphery of great industrial change but also struggling with deep poverty and she presents their lives and reports on them in a way that obviously takes into account the tremendous suffering but also shows tremendous humanity. there are moments of humor, moments of great civilian joy. i felt wonderful removed reading it and it was a book i could not put down. had to keep reading. not only did it win the national book award but so many people have responded to it, why it sold very well, and why it will take its place among the best books published in the last few years. >> she is not in the book much of all. >> deliberately -- >> is really old-fashioned
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reporting done incredibly well. >> sarah weinman of "publishers marketplace" mentioned a lot of best of lists coming out by publications, the washington post, the economist, etc.. all of those have been aggregated at booktv.org. you will be able to see a lot of these best of 2012 books lists. they are under a section called news about books. pulitzers this year, stephen greeneblack won this work, history, manning mirabel won for malcolm x, autobiography john lewis gas's george f. kennan, an american life. what is this swerve about?
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>> was a little on the side of being intellectual. i don't mean to say that dismissively. it is about a poem. the remember the name of the poem? >> not offhand. [talking over each other] >> rediscovered in the renaissance. then it changed the way -- it was published -- >> brought out. >> printed. >> and mean to put you on the spot but it is called "the swerve". cultures swerve a bit and took on a modern take on life and fear dying is the big thing. it dealt with the fear of dying which was more predominant and stopped people from doing things
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prior to this and that is part of "the swerve". >> of the book is nominated wins a national book award or nominated and wins a pulitzer does it change sales? >> as an example to answer your question, the pulitzer prize did not award a prize in fiction this year which was the first time that it happened since the late 1970s and there was a huge uproar largely because for fiction winner is the pulitzer does have an appreciable effect on sales. paul harding when he won the fiction prize for his debut novel takers, he published bellevue literary press and in the wake of the pulitzer win, not only did it sell 100,000 copies but his next novel will be published by random house in september of 2013 so it changed his career and sales trajectory.
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jennifer egan is another example. when she won the pulitzer in fiction for the goon squad, she was a midwest rider. in the wake of her pulitzer, she is firmly entrenched as one of the most sought-after riders in american literature right now. not a wording, the fiction prize this year sent a lot of shock waves and will be interesting to see if they repeat that in 2013 and if they will learn from that, quote, mistake and make sure an odder when the fiction prize. >> a lot of libraries will check their holdings to see if they have the book and if they don't they will order those books. it doesn't make a best seller but established a different realm. prizes our most important when a person is not that well known.
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suddenly established. curiosity about them. >> several members of congress have written books this past year including center rand paul, "government bullies," representative john lewis rose across that bridge about his experience. senator marco rubio, biography, an american son, representative tim ryan, a mindful nation, a single practice can reduce stress, improved performance and recaptured the american spirit. a little off the beaten path for members of congress, senator tom coburn, the debt bomb and robert draper has written a book about congress, do not ask what good we do:inside the u.s. house of representatives. do either of you look for these books when they come out by members of congress or politicians? >> i certainly note them but i feel as if from my sense these
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books are way too entrenched members of congress not only in positions but potentially to position them for future runs weather within their current offices or something different so it seems as if it is more of a calling card than it is furthering their career as doctors , certainly being authors of books. it is a way of announcing to the public they are part of a larger conversation. >> i wonder how much is written by a member of congress given their schedules and the need to raise money. >> you're looking at time management. >> i don't know. i always remember, nathaniel
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hawthorne wrote some president's campaign biography and got a job, patronage job. an old tradition, the beauty of obama's memoir which he wrote before he was a politician, a little more open. we paid attention to the marco rubio book, tied it as a vice-presidential candidates, we lost interest in that. he has a future in the republican party, he will be going back to them. >> well-known former members of congress and politicians, government officials have written some books this past year including colin powell's it worked for me in life and leadership, madeleine albright, another book, prague winter, personal story of remembrance in
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war, the late senator arlen specter has a book, life among the cannibals and finally former government -- governor arnold schwarzenegger, total recall. how did total recall do? >> as far as i know it did not live up to expectations. a very interesting answer to this, i understand there's a quite interesting profile piece by the former governor. >> i got to interview the governor, for those who have forgotten, after he left the governorship, governor schwarzenegger had an affair with his housekeeper who fathered his son and that lead to his wife, maria shriver, the
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kennedys are involved in everything, filing for divorce. comes out with 600 pages or so, everything all schwarzenegger has ever done from growing up in austria, body building, pages and pages about bodybuilding. is an incredible and in some ways incredible american immigrant story that he comes to america, this is his dream, to become a movie star and he becomes a movie star and then he becomes governor of california. meanwhile the affair with the house speaker which is five pages in the book, he deals with it, doesn't say much, says he made a mistake, regrets it, does this sort of thing people say in those situations and i got an interview with him on the phone
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friday before the book came out. he already agreed to be on 60 minutes and they have a lot more time and midway through the interview, he said i cannot do arnold well. i don't like the way this interview is going. it is not about his accomplishments. if you like arnold schwarzenegger is all there. it made the best-seller list and went away. >> political pundits. always we get political pundit books every year including charles murray's coming apart, the state of white america, glen beck's power, marc levin, rachel matthau, drift and end coulter's mug. did you pick of these books? they always make a best seller list for a couple weeks. >> they do.
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looking specifically at the ann coulter book, she switched publishers because the one point anytime you put a book with her name and her face on the cover it would have a guarantee sail into the six figures. with time that has been dropping and it seems as if she has had to bump up her rhetoric and argumentative streak in order to sell fewer and fewer copies. it will be interesting to see what she does for her next book and how far she is willing to go to make a buck and sell a book so to speak. >> adrift by rachel matt now went beyond the usual pandit book. questioning american military power. a lot of it you could say is not written from a liberal perspective when she is an unabashed liberal but she is
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also on tv but she has a ph.d. in something, political science or something and charles murray would not want to be called a pundit. he is famous for controversy over the bell curve. this looks at white working-class to try to separate class from race which complicate everything and he looks at how the values of the lower white working class of gone down. there is this white elite adopted middle-class value, the working class lost those, a complex argument, advanced two places to describe these things. it is interesting, it is more than somebody ranting and raving. >> a scholar with the american enterprise institute as well, probably not fair to call him a
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political pundits. what about glen beck? he launched his own imprint, but his fox show is off the air. can you see the result of his sales? >> as far as i can tell glyn back, what he has been doing since he left fox has been trying to build a brand that reaches of very dedicated community not only through satellite oriented radio show but a new site called the blaze and other things going on through his web site and other brand opportunities. he has a dedicated imprint by simon and schuster. his philosophy has been moving toward trying to reach the same dedicated loyal following over and over again and build on that a little bit at a time rather
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than necessarily go for more outrage than fox had because he can do what glenn does best. what is interesting to see, he has shifted what he has done over the last few years and no doubt he will continue to adapt his persona over the next year or so. >> he has a new novel out cackling the un. his previous tackling the un. his previous novel, the over tin conspiracy by glen beck and two people. sometimes you see books by two people but usually not three people. committee writing. who wrote the book?
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i wrote the book. these guys -- i sort of supervised. it was a team effort. to call him and authors, he might dispute this but it is sort of part of his brand marketing. he has a newsletter, a cable show, his own little media empire. whether fox chased him out or not i am not clear but he is very cobb--popular in his books sell. he writes about christmas, they sell, he writes about politics and they sell. >> prior to taking this interview we asked for sarah weinman and bob minzesheimer's picks. bob minzesheimer, one of your picks was a national book award finalist, have an hours's the yellow birds. >> booktv doesn't do a lot of fiction but yellow birds is the novel.
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kevin powers served in iraq. he joined the army. one of these incredible stories, he grew up in richmond, va. joined the army out of high school because that is what people in his family did, served in iraq and came back and also has a this love of poetry, came back, went to school, undergraduate -- it is odd to say, beautiful novel, a novel about war and the destruction of war and what war does to people, two young kids from virginia. he says it is not all that autobiographical about what happened to him in iraq, but a great sense of what it was like to be there for people who have not been there and called yellow birds and is a remarkable accomplishment, debut novel. >> sarah weinman, david nassau's the patriarch.
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>> i am almost done reading it. for whatever reason i read fiction faster than nonfiction and especially because it is such a thorough and comprehensive biography of joseph p. kennedy who was the father of president kennedy, many other kennedys, was also active in the sec and ambassador to london and in the hollywood film industry, very active in the roosevelt administration, sometimes the relationship between him and the president got contentious and he has been doing an excellent job putting together so much research. c-span six years on this book going to archive after archive, cross checking, fact checking, one of the things he seems to have proven definitively, joe kennedy was not a bootlegger. rumors persisted about this for decades.
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i admire the scholarship and i am glad to have spent the many weeks i have with this book. >> discovering new things about the kennedy family is outstanding. we were talking about what if one of the alternative history things, what if nixon had been kennedy in 1960? what if john kennedy had never been president? thinking of all the thousands of books that never would have been written or may be different books written. i once interviewed caroline kennedy who edited a simple book career mother was writing mostly and tapes from the white house, caroline kennedy is famous for staying on message and talking about certain things but not other things, tend to get off message. have you ever thought about a kennedy bookstore. she would not say anything about it. it is possible to have an entire book store devoted to the
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kennedys, a serious history, arnold schwarzenegger's book could be there as well. he tells the story going back -- he and maria shows in the house, in los angeles, hollywood. joseph kennedy would appear for a while and there was a tunnel underneath the house to gloria swanson's house and he said maria was the most interested and embarrassed by this story. i asked donald why he put that in the book. he didn't really answer the question. >> here's a question. kennedy's book store. there is a lincoln bookstore in chicago. >> the lincoln bookstore -- i want to try it that.
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i think a kennedy bookstore would be good. if anything you could fool and all the quote lows by virtue of their s by virtue of their ceasing to exist relationship. >> not a fair question but if we compare bill o'reilly's killing kennedy to david nassau's the patriarch about joseph p. kennedy -- other figures even quote close? >> they're not too low. below riley's killing lincoln book is close to two million copies. it has been known more than a year and is now in paperback and has not slowed down. 0 riley talked with me about more serious history books as
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only o'reilly can say. they are brilliant but you need to act on vacation to be retired to read their books. his book for 220 pages, talking about o'reilly, you can read them in a couple days. it depends how much readers want to devote. here's what publishers don't think about. bigger books pretty much top out at $35. >> sometimes 40. i have seen it as high as 55. >> o'reilly's books begin at 300 pages for $25. if you sold them per page, like meat is sold by the pound, the bigger books you're getting more for your money and also getting to occupy your brain for a longer period of time. i don't think it really works that way. but life is not fair.
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>> it is important to point out one of the reasons the biography has taken me as long as it has is because there are almost 1 to hundred pages of force notes and footnotes and a comprehensive index. as i am reading i want to check where did he get this fact and i can look it up not just in the index or the appended note but look on line and go down the rabbit hole so to speak. it is not i am engaged with the text of the book, but the difference forces using creating this book. >> the patriarch will be read for decades. >> definitive. >> suddenly being popular this month and forgotten in years. and this will sound academic but
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the importance of footnotes. a lot of publishers do not like the amount of paper spent on footnotes. why not just put the footnotes on line which would be something -- maybe i will do that in my next book although the problem for riders like that is some of their sources may not be as strong. if you discover the source as you might have gotten some of the stuff, for example in the killing kennedy book there's a slow in describing john kennedy, leading up to the assassination not just about the assassination but describing the scene where john kennedy is a meeting marilyn monroe at bing crosby's house, a famous party move from
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frank sinatra's house because kennedy had been warned frank was involved in mafia figures. you can imagine bill o'reilly nursing all these names, his sentence says everyone seeing them knew that president kennedy was going to sleep with marilyn monroe that night, period. no attribution. how does he knows this? he had a source, the source was an interview in the london daily mail which was that tabloid in london and reported years ago and he said it was confirmed by a secret service agent at the party that could not be identified. as that verifiable? forces are important. how a writer knows what he is writing about is important and some of the popular histories gloss over that.
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>> not just popular history to add one last point which was 2012 in general there were many conversations about fact checking and corroborating sources, verifying facts, making sure what he wrote was true. all of bose things to some degree brought down one of the rising stars writing about neuroscience and creativity. his newest book imagine came out and it turned out he had fabricated at least one source and copied extensively from earlier writing and as a result of his publisher had to withdraw the book end remains to be seen what his next move will be and how -- what career he will have as a result. >> we are running out of time unfortunately but we want to show you the new york times best-seller list, hardcover and e-book combined. this is nonfiction most weeks on
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the list and the top of the list is laura helen brand, unbroken, published in 2010 followed by bill o'reilly's killing lincoln, heaven is for real, walter isaacson's steve jobs, number 4 published in 2011, wild, derek larsson in the garden of beasts, another 2011 title, power of habit, edward klein's at the aging, tina fay's bossy pants, and american sniper was published in january and that was on the list for 17 weeks. sarah weinman, what is wild? >> that was an amazing memoir by a woman who had previously written a novel called for ridge .
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she described as-she decided on a whim that she would walk the pacific coast, well over a thousand miles and did so with minimal preparation and describe the essentially how doing this long distance walk broke her apart and put her back together again. the big reason why this book was on the best-seller list for so long even though there had been a great deal of attempts, i read it a couple months before publication and certainly understood all the advance height, oprah winfrey decided to revive her book club. she may not have a nationally syndicated show anymore but she does have the oprah winfrey network and her magazine, the 0 prime magazine and many conduits so when she shows wild for the
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reconstituted book club, it led to a great a uptick in sales and also meant other books, not just her previous but a book of advice problems called tiny beautiful things were issued and sold well. interestingly enough's oprah has made her next selection in her book club 2.0, did you novel called the 12 trials of patty, a woman who never previously published fiction before, she had written extensively for glossy magazines. >> bob minzesheimer 11, let's look at some publishing news for the past year and i want to start with the price of the books. what is the status on the e-book collusion pricing? >> how much time do you have? >> two minutes to get into this. >> i made the allusion to sarah weinman on this because this
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gets extremely complicated. it basically comes down to a battle between publishers and amazon about how cheap the books will be. sarah can jump in a fine oversimplifying. >> i will do my best to keep it simple as well. class-action lawsuits, things came to a head in april when the department of justice sued five or six largest publishers accept random house and apple for what she thought were colluding on e-book prices through the agency model. very briefly the agency novel describes where publishers set the price, not retailers. before that retailers like amazon and barnes and noble and the like set their own prices. the department of justice did not like that. in the wake of the suit, simon and schuster and harpercollins all settled and now we are
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seeing some fluctuation in those publishers's e-book prices. mcmillan, a penguin and apple continue to fight the suit, june 3rd, 2013, the case is still ongoing in court. there's a lot of legal maneuvering and state settlement involving all states except minnesota leading up to $69 million allocated to give back to customers who felt they paid too high a price on e-books. >> the day of the $9.99 e-book coming back? >> that assumes it existed in the first place. to some extent that was a fallacy. was more that amazon was shifting prices lower and lower and publishers felt they couldn't make profit. what the agency model did was make larger profits. we saw that if you look at the bottom line of publishing
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earnings reports throughout the year where the books contributed a healthy bottom line, what is interesting is a side point but another major publishing story is the impending merger between random house and penguin which was first announced in late october. how that will come about depends a lot on what the department of justice has to say because if penguin is in litigation with them, how can they go ahead and approve what would essentially create the largest publisher in american history? >> publishers will also say their complaints against amazon is amazon is trying to tell e-books as cheap as possible to sell the kindle devices they sell and that is what they really want to do. the irony is one of the other developments is amazon has gotten into traditional publishing and is beginning to sign some big-name authors using
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its data to -- amazon is competing with publishers on many levels and is creating all kinds of tensions. >> what is interesting with respect to an unpublished is some of the names they felt were big enough to sell have not sold. penny marshall's book, her memoir my mother was not switch sold for a high 6-figure amounts, wildly underperformed and the new york operation has been interestingly enough getting some critical acclaim. the problem is many retailers including barnes and noble and independent bookstores are not stocking these titles. amazon's publishing operation when it comes to genre fiction, science fiction and romance have been selling well because those do very well as e-books but competing with the big six they have not shown themselves to be a worthy competitor. that may change in 2013. >> according to the association
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of publishers' e-book sales year to date are up 37%. the entire adult trade books are up 10.4%. very quickly, sarah weinman, what happened in october with regard to the so-called google settlement? >> the google settlement as it stands now is still ongoing in respect to the authors guild finding it out. however, google did reach a new settlement with publishers. that segment will no longer be fought in court. this suit has been going on for almost eight years if not more. the presiding judge has moved on to the appeals court for two or three years and this is one of the last standing cases. i am sure he would like to see some resolution but it seems if the authors guild like to fight
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it out. >> bob minzesheimer 11, 30 seconds on self publishing in 2012? >> self publishing is when you pay to get your book published. you do not get money, you don't get a royalty. for years this was looked down upon, vanity publishing, anyone could do it. a couple thousand dollars, you too could be published. the digital world has changed that. suddenly on our list, self published books that you might not be able to find, some are not even in print but just e-books. i am running out of time, but the big barrier to self published books was distribution, getting them in stores. you didn't have a publisher, you didn't have a distribution channel. in the digital world that is
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changing. now publishers have been buying some of these services. it gets very complicated because it is all becoming one thing. penguin bought a book called authors solutions which has all these things, publish hundreds of thousands of books, books that sell 50 copies. most sell less than 100 copies, but everyone's a while one comes along and becomes a big hit mostly through word of mouth on the internet. publishers, a penguin boss arthur solutions, simon and schuster which competes with penguin has a deal to work on i am not sure what they're doing because they're not publishing a book. >> there being a white hat label where they put their name but the author does all the work. >> for readers this is good, more choices. what happens, when big-name
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authors decides to self published. what happens when james patterson, stephen king decides i will be my own publisher? that hasn't happened yet. >> we are out of time but very quickly, we have sarah weinman and bob minzesheimer looking ahead to 2013. some of their picks. sarah weinman, of "publishers marketplace," looking for going clear, scientology, hollywood and the prison of believe, and expos on scientology and lawrence route -- road building tower, some of the books bob minzesheimer looking forward to, the king years, ross perot, my life, al gore, the future, should also point out that a couple other books coming out, general stanley mcchrystal has a book coming out, my share of the tasks, dick cheney on coronary disease. his book is coming out in

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